(Washington, DC) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) introduced a resolution that recognizes the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the testimony of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Admiral Michael G. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the hearing, as an important first step towards equality in the Armed Forces. Furthermore, Hastings’ resolution expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the discriminatory law should be repealed in 2010. (Please find attached a copy of the resolution)
“The misguided policy known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is yet another enemy to fight at a time when we are strained in two wars. In 2009 alone, we lost 428 service members to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at the estimated cost of over $12 million. We cannot allow the strength and unity of our military to suffer from a destructive force within,” said Hastings.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is irreconcilable with the values that our great nation was built on and the values that our Armed Forces embody. Defense Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen’s testimony sent a clear signal across the nation and through the military ranks that discrimination is not a value of our Armed Forces,” further noted Hastings.
“It is my sincere hope that President Obama, the Department of Defense, the U.S. military, and Congress will do everything in their power to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly as soon as possible.”
Hastings’ resolution also urges the Pentagon working group to deliver an implementation plan to Congress as soon as possible while ensuring that the needs and concerns of all service members are taken into consideration, and strongly recommends that the Senate Armed Services Committee and House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Personnel include active-duty service members in their upcoming hearings regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Joining Congressman Hastings as original co-sponsors (26) are: Representatives James P. Moran (VA), Jackie Speier (CA), Sam Farr (CA), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ), Mike Honda (CA), Luis V. Gutierrez (IL), Chellie Pingree (ME), Shelley Berkley (NV), Diane Watson (CA), Barney Frank (MA), Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI), Judy Chu (CA), Bob Filner (CA), Donna M. Christensen (VI), Laura Richardson (CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Steve Israel (NY), Maurice Hinchey (NY), Howard L. Berman (CA), John D. Dingell (MI), Elijah E. Cummings (MD), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Edolphus Towns (NY), John Lewis (GA), Mike Michaud (ME), and Jared Polis (CO).
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings is Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.
Lale M. Mamaux
Chief of Staff, DC
Office of Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (FL-23)